After a seven-year hiatus, LEGO has come out with an all-new Mindstorms system. We took a look at the new 51515 Robot Inventor set last week, but when it went on sale yesterday via LEGO’s website and stores, it also included a matching gift with purchase. 40413 Mini Robots is available with any order over US $100 | CA $100 | UK £100 and includes 366 pieces. The promo runs until Nov. 1 or while supplies last. The set builds tiny versions of the five robots from the full-size Robot Inventor Mindstorms kit to let everyone get a piece of the new Mindstorms, whether you intend to plunk down $360 for the big kit or not.
The year 2013 feels like eons ago. After all, a lot can happen in 7 years, and that’s how long it’s been since Mindstorms EV3 arrived on the scene. Now it’s beyond high-time for the long-awaited successor to LEGO’s premier robotics platform to hit the stage. Back in June when LEGO Mindstorms 51515 Robot Inventor was revealed, some people were ecstatic, but many were unimpressed with the features of the new system. In this review, we’ll take a deep dive to see if this set proves that you shouldn’t judge a bot by its cover. Robot Inventor contains 949 pieces and will be available beginning October 15 for US $359.99 | CAN $459.99 | UK £329.99.
According to the LEGO Lab news page, a new LEGO Mindstorms set, 515153 Mindstorms Porsche, is in the works. The set is based on 2019’s LEGO Technic 42096 Porsche 911 RSR set. Unlike the original set, which had no motorized functions, the new edition comes with the latest LEGO Mindstorms motors and sensors, which were revealed along with the announcement of the new generation of the system back in June.
Several months ago, we reviewed LEGO Education’s new product, SPIKE Prime. And just a couple weeks ago, we featured news about the latest addition to the Mindstorms theme, the SPIKE-esque 51515 Robot Inventor. This new generation of programmable robotics brings bright colors and fresh ideas to the table. We’re already seeing some awesome builds coming from the education community, like this bike by the folks at Creator Academy Australia and Project Bucephalus. What’s so awesome about it? It’s self-balancing. This little guy can ride along on its own without tipping over (as long as there isn’t a wall). Click the link below to see it in action!
LEGO has revealed the successor to the Mindstorms EV3 as 51515 Robot Inventor, a 5-in-1 robotics and coding kit. The set is the first addition to the Mindstorms theme in seven years since 31313 EV3 launched in 2013 which was recently labeled as “Retiring Soon” on the LEGO Store online. The new Robot Inventor includes 949 pieces which can be built and rebuilt into five models each with different capabilities and personalities. The set will be available later this year (LEGO has stated early Q4) and will retail for US $359.99 | UK £329.99 | EU €359.99.
Robot Inventor includes a rechargeable Intelligent Hub first seen in SPIKE Prime (enabling Bluetooth connections, gyroscope, accelerometer, and a light matrix) as well as four medium-angular motors, an ultrasonic distance sensor, and a color sensor. LEGO is also launching a Robot Inventor app with visual and text-based coding, the ability to make customized digital remote controls, and support for a variety of third-party controllers like those used with the PS4 and Xbox One.
Some of you may already know I’m a little obsessed with pinball. I just can’t help being enthralled with the awesome engineering that lies within a pinball machine. It’s like an obstacle course for your mind, but tangible. And nothing makes me more giddy than one made from LEGO. This little machine, built by Dawid Marasek, may look simple, but it has a great asset: it’s modular.
LEGO Education sets are now available online for a limited time from the LEGO Store online. Previously, these have only been available online in the US and only through specialized retailers for the rest of the world. The LEGO Store indicates that these are now available for educational purposes which speaks to the current COVID-19 situation around the world where parents and students may want to explore learning at home with LEGO-facilitated tools.
Not all countries can now purchase them, but we’ve spotted LEGO Education products available the US, CAN, UK and other select European country stores. The good news is these sets contribute to VIP points, which has not been the case in the past. We have listed each product available and provided an op-ed about the reasoning behind the pricing.
LEGO Education is celebrating its 40th anniversary, and we are exploring the history of this unique division of the LEGO Group. Part 1 presented an early history of LEGO Education, while Part 2 outlined the development of the first LEGO robotics platforms. In our 3rd and final installment, we dive into the story behind the game-changing release of LEGO Mindstorms.
LEGO and Amazon are launching a new “Mindstorms Voice Challenge: Powered by Alexa” for developers and LEGO robotics fans with some serious prizes up for grabs. The challenge is to envision and create new ways that voice controls can work with LEGO.
More than $100,000 worth of prizes are available, with the grand prize winner receiving $20,000 in Amazon gift cards, tons of LEGO sets, and a trip to LEGO Headquarters in Denmark. You can get a $150 Amazon gift card just by entering.
Pinball machines bring out the kid in all of us, hanging out in an arcade losing quarters and setting high scores. And the Classic Space era of LEGO sets appeals to so many of us who got our first LEGO sets back in the 70’s through 90’s. The Brothers Brick contributor Bre Burns hits it out of the nostalgia ballpark with a fully functional LEGO pinball machine called “Benny’s Spaceship Adventure.” She spent several months perfecting the design with over 15,000 LEGO bricks, including LEGO Mindstorms NXT programmable bricks to make sounds and count your high score.
Bre has kindly shared loads of details about her LEGO masterpiece, which stands over two and a half feet tall, exclusively with The Brothers Brick. Let’s pull back that ball launcher, flick those flippers, and learn more about this amazing LEGO creation!
But first, let’s take a look at the pinball machine in action as Bre shares its working features and tells us a little bit about the design process in our latest TBB video.
Just take my money already! Combining three of my favorite things, Alexis Dos Santos has raised the bar on mind-blowing creations with this Star Wars Racer game, made out of LEGO and powered by MINDSTORMS.
The game itself is a three-dimensional, brick-built version of the pod-racing scene from Star Wars Episode I. The player controls Anakin’s podracer between obstacles coming at it while the MINDSTORMS Intelligent Brick provides the logic and sound effects for the game.
As the caution on the game warns, “HIGHLY ADDICTIVE GAME, THANKFULLY IT’S FREE TODAY!” But where do I
buy get it … ?
It’s quite rare to see a fully functioning roller coaster, especially one this large and complex and using 100% off-the-shelf LEGO elements. It does a look a little fragile at times, with the whole structure wobbling away in the high speed turns, but I’m pretty sure builder Hoezer2 has got it all figured out and it’s gonna hold up. The construction not only has the look and feel of a real roller coaster, but the turns and runs actually have a top speed of 10.3 kmh (6.4 mph) thanks to the use of Mindstorms EV3 motors and sensors.
I still can’t quite grasp how those carriages stay fixed to the tracks, which has always been my number one fear of roller coasters. But in the world of LEGO, minifigures don’t feel pain so it’s all good if they have to endure the occasional derailment.